RPM range at 70mph, where should it read?

Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
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Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:49 pm
Location: Appleton, WI
Motorcycle: 2005 GL1800

RPM range at 70mph, where should it read?

Post by LK1LK1 »

I've obtained a sweet '05 GL1800, near mint with 24,000 miles on the odometer, along with newly-installed tires. I really like this bike. I'm reasonably new to the 1800, and I'm now especially interested in how the bike should "feel and sound" at highway speed in the top gear. Any helpful comments greatly appreciated.

While I'm still unaccustomed to the Wing, it seems to me that the 5th gear (Overdrive) places me at about 3,000 RPM while cruising along at 70mph. Shouldn't the RPM gauge show less, or is that (3,000 RPM) mark just about right for 70mph? I note that there is only a little increase in RPM at 75mph.

I've most recently owned a 2013 Victory Tour, and that big twin (with a 6th gear overdrive) loafed along at about 2500 RPM at 70mph. Still, the Victory no match for comfort when compared to the Wing, in my view. The 1800 certainly has that "geared low" feeling in first gear, and that "off the line feeling" will take some getting used to for awhile. I'm an experienced rider, and have owned the 1200 and 1500 models in the past.

I also think the Wing (which I have just purchased and only ridden twice) may have the air suspension set a little too high at this time. It is more of a firmer highway ride than I would like. I prefer a softer highway and in-town ride, and I'm at 180 pounds and usually ride alone. Any ideas on what may be ideal or a good place to start in setting the air-suspension on the Wing? I'm not one to constantly fiddle with those push-button controls, (for fear of the dreaded stuck-button syndrome that is apparently common on some Wings), but I'm just hoping for a more comfortable ride and getting the air-suspension "numbers" within an acceptable range.

I really like this site, and there's certainly a vast amount of helpful info from everyone. Any comments about my "RPM" question and the use of the air-suspension buttons highly appreciated. Thank You.

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Re: RPM range at 70mph, where should it read?

Post by MikeB »

7100 RPM is about right for the GL1800.
80MPH = 3600RPM
90MPH =4000RPM
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
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Re: RPM range at 70mph, where should it read?

Post by tamathumper »

Congrats on your new wing.

Yes, many feel the Wing revs too high at highway speed. Do a search for Henry's Final Drive to see a potential solution.

Also, the ride harshness may very well be due to a stuck Anti Dive Valve.

Set your tire pressures as recommended by the manufacturer, and if still too harsh, search for ADV Disable.
'03 GL1800A - Warning: fopen() [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: Sense of humor not found on line 2
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Re: RPM range at 70mph, where should it read?

Post by Rambozo »

The 1800 doesn't have air suspension. That is a hydraulic control that sets spring preload. With it backed off all the way, if the ride is still too firm, you will have to change the spring. Do not expect it to ride like your GL1500. Honda went for a sportier firmer feel with the GL1800.
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Re: RPM range at 70mph, where should it read?

Post by Terry D »

I also have a 2005 and yes, 3000 RPM is about right for OD at 70 mph. That is if it has stock 180x60R 16 rear tire. You will eventually notice that the Speed and miles driven is a bit higher (6%). So if you are doing 70 you are actually doing about 66mph. The best way to correct this is with a speedohealer and or use a 180x70 16 rear tire. Honda designed the bike with a 60 vs 70 tire to help keep the wing lower. Which is about 3/4" lower. Guys who put a car tire on the rear usually use a 195x55 16 and that throws the speed and miles off by a bit more. Example of Sidewall height is as follows:
180x60 = 108mm or 4.25" sidewall
180x70 = 126mm or 4.96" sidewall
195x55 = 107.25mm or 4.22" sidewall

The taller the sidewall the same revolutions covers more ground, thus less gas is used for that distance and you have traveled further. So if you calculate getting 42mpg as I usually do. You are actually getting about 44.5mpg taking in the consideration that everything is stock and your 6% error.

It ain't the destination but the getting there. You are not lost until you run out of gas.
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